JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP Archives


BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP Archives

BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP Archives


BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP Home

BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP Home

BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP  October 2018

BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP October 2018

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Last chance to support trans rights via government consultation

From:

Surya Monro <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Surya Monro <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:31:10 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (135 lines)

Dear Colleagues,

Apologies for another email  but this is just a gentle reminder that today is the last day that the Gender Recognition Consultation is open, for those who have not yet filled it in. It takes less than ten minutes to fill in the yes/no questions and every person who responds will make a difference.

The easiest way to do it is via https://www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/come-out-trans-equality-0

You may be aware that the government, criminal justice system, and other agencies, have already put in place mechanisms to stop violence/abuse towards women (by trans or cis women) in single sex establishments.

I hope that by working together to support both trans rights and the rights of all women (trans and cisgender)  we can move things towards a better place in the UK.

This email only represents my views and not those of the list or my University.

Thanks and kind wishes,

Surya


Surya Monro
Professor of Sociology and Social Policy
Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Conflict, Identity and Diversity
http://www.hud.ac.uk/ourstaff/profile/index.php?staffid=710
+44 (0) 1484 471424
School of Human and Health Sciences
University of Huddersfield | Queensgate | Huddersfield | HD1 3DH

Please download your free copy of my latest paper titled 'Sexual and Gender Diversities: Implications for LGBTQ Studies' here if you like: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/hqIivIWyMKBd26tUUqv2/full

Latest report - Intersex, Variations of Sex Characteristics, and DSD: The Need for Change http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/33535/

Latest book - https://www.routledge.com/Queer-in-Africa-LGBTQI-Identities-Citizenship-and-Activism/Matebeni-Monro-Reddy/p/book/9781138222847
________________________________________
From: Announcement list for the BSA Gender Study Group. [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Dr Sue Robson [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 17 October 2018 17:13
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: A reflective and detailed response to "Stand up for trans rights" - call to action

Firstly, can I apologise for early communications where I was unclear about the protocols and communications systems for the BSA Gender Studies Group and BSA Activism in Sociology Course. With support and assistance from my daughter, Dr Louise Harvey-Golding, I have now reframed my response to the call to action posted by from Dr Pearce, Research Fellow at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds (14 October 2018 15:25)
We are less than 48 hours way from the end of a Government Consultation on possible changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004. Whilst we all desire to stand in solidarity with trans people around the proposed GRA reforms, the application of intersectionality to the pursuit of social justice inevitably involves conflict of interest between different social/ identity groups. Yet, throughout this consultation, there has been a lack of any nuanced or balanced responses, particularly among academics and sociologists.
Activism whose purpose is closing-down space for reflective and critical dialogue, especially when purported by eminent academics, will not eliminate the conflicts and divisions, it will deepen them. As BSA members, we should be encouraging a reflective and critical dialogue among academics, practitioners and policy-makers to explore issues surrounding the proposed GRA reforms for ALL equality groups.
As stated, my initial perception or Dr Pearce’s call to action, was a littering of terms that reinforced a polarisation between two binary opposed positions that threatened and silence any form of democratic deliberation about this issue.  A more detailed reading of the call for action and further research has reinforced that perception and our detailed response to the points raised by Dr Pearce’s follows.

1.            “I use the term ‘sex/gender’ as current UK law does not distinguish between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’: the two are used interchangeably (I also regard ‘sex’, like ‘gender’ as a social construct, but that’s a conversation for another time and place!)”
Sex’ not ‘gender’ is a protected characteristic. The Equality Act 2010 identifies 9 protected characteristics: age, disability, gender-reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, religion or belief, race, sex, sexual orientation.
‘Sex’ refers to characteristics that are biologically determined, i.e. male and female. ‘Gender’ is used to describe the characteristics of women and men that are socially constructed from learned behaviour that makes up ‘gender-identity’ and determines ‘gender-roles.’
The Equality Act 2010 outlines circumstances where discrimination against individuals with the protected characteristic of ‘gender-reassignment’ are permissible. Single and separate sex organisations, service providers and employers can choose to make use of the exceptions in the Equality Act 2010, but where they are used, is essential that they are applied lawfully.
Trans rights groups are campaigning to remove single sex exemptions from Equality Act 2010, despite the Government announcing that they have no intention of altering the Equality Act 2010 or removing the single sex exemptions. [i] For example, the Women & Equalities Select Committee Report 2015-2016 states:
We recommend that the Equality Act be amended so that the occupational requirements provision and / or the single-sex / separate services provision shall not apply in relation to discrimination against a person whose acquired gender has been recognised under the Gender Recognition Act 2004. (Paragraph 132)
Moreover, Stonewall (A Vision for Change, 2017) states:
The Equality Act also allows trans people to be treated differently in particular situations. When applying for certain jobs, participating in sport, accessing single-sex services, serving in the Armed Forces, or attending school a trans person’s rights are not the same as everyone else’s. This means that trans people in these areas are not protected from discrimination and harassment in the way other people are. Those who disclose the fact they are trans are most at risk […] Stonewall will advocate for the removal of all instances of permitted discrimination of trans people from the [Equality} Act”

2.            “Anti-trans groups have spread misinformation about the GRA i.e. “The purpose and function of the GRA has been conflated with the Equality Act 2010, which governs trans people’s access to sexed/gendered public spaces.”
This comment is unclear in its intent and purpose and appears to imply that it is transphobic to discuss changes to the GRA in relation to the Equality Act. Critical debate regarding the implications of reforming the GRA on legislation contained in the Equality Act is required in order to gain an informed view on the impacts on all population groups.
As part of their open consultation on reforming the GRA, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) have stated that there are no proposals to amend existing exceptions relating to the safeguarding of single and separate sex services in the Equality Act, and they do not plan to make any amendments to the existing exceptions in the Equality Act, relating to ‘gender-reassignment’.
However, the GEO have stated that it is mindful of expressed concerns regarding changing the requirements for a GRC and how this might affect single sex protections and other legislation and public services. Therefore, the GEO is keen to understand more about these relationships as part of the policy development process and are particularly interested in the relationships between the GRA and the Equality Act:
The Government is keen to collect evidence and opinion from all voices about the potential implications of GRA reform on the Equality Act in order to inform its decision making […] The Government is keen to collect evidence on the potential implications of amending the legal gender recognition process. This will help in making the most informed policy decisions possible and in developing robust impact assessments.
Government Equality Office & Department for Education (2018)

3.            The issues of Single separate sex services for women and girls and sex-based protections
Under the Equality Act 2010, service providers can offer separate or differing services to males and females, or to one sex only, on the condition that only persons of that sex have a need for the service and where providing a combined service would not be as effective.
Single and separate sex services can treat people with the protected characteristic of ‘gender-reassignment’ differently, or exclude them completely, but only where the action taken is a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.’ Organisations and service providers are required to undertake case-by-case assessments of proportionality and legitimacy before deciding to exclude or include a trans person.
Communal and residential accommodation, which for reasons of privacy should be used only by persons of the same sex, are also able to treat people with the protected characteristic of ‘gender-reassignment’ differently or exclude them completely, provided it is proportionate to do so and the purpose is legitimate.
Moreover, employers can treat people with the protected characteristic of ‘gender-reassignment’ differently, or exclude them completely, but only where it is fundamental to the role, i.e. a female midwife.
In addition, there are other legislation and public services that treat men and women differently these include: single sex prisons, schools and high-security hospitals; sex-specific awards and bursaries; faith buildings or organisations; single sex gym, sports and swimming sessions; commissioning of domestic violence support services; sex specific medical screening services; toilets and changing rooms; and, different benefit, pension and leave (maternity/paternity) entitlements for men and women in law.
The guidance provided at the end of Dr Pearce’s email and attached guides including do not encourage critical debate around single and separate sex services provision.[ii] The guide for feminists and LQBTQ academics actively discourages any critical discussion around ‘women’s rights’ to prevent any ‘backlash.’[iii]
It is reported in the Guardian today that “Transgender law reform has overlooked women’s rights”[iv] Many feminist practitioners, academics and activists have spent their entire lives struggling for safe women only spaces and we fear that aspects of the proposed reforms could be in conflict with long established practice and ethics. There is a wide body of evidence to support the position that women and girls should have the right to access single and separate space, provision and facilities based on their biological sex to safeguard and to protect them from male violence, particularly services such as refugees, supported housing and other shared accommodation, where is an increased risk of harm women and girls from male bodied people.[v]
Significant institutions, dealing with the most vulnerable in our society such as HMP and the NHS have already incorporated the proposed reforms into policy. According to the data collection exercise conducted in March/April 2017:

  *   There were 125 prisoners currently living in, or presenting in, a gender different to their sex assigned at birth and who have had a local transgender case board
  *   Of these, 99 reported their gender as male, 23 reported their gender as female and 3 did not state their gender (Ministry of Justice, 2017)
Whilst there is no data on the precise numbers of trans-women in female prisons, we know that 99 of the 125 trans prisoners are born males. In May 2018, in response to a FYI request by Fair Play for Women The Ministry of Justice reported, “currently there are no prisoners who were assigned female at birth, held in male prisons.” (Ministry of Justice, 2018). Generally, the majority of trans-people do not seek medical treatment. (Gender Identity Research and Education Society, 2011). Therefore, we can deduce that transwomen housed in the female estate are likely to have intact male bodies and penises – as demonstrated by the recent case of Karen White [vi] and Jessica Winfield.[vii] Whilst these may be isolated cases and should not be held up to portray all trans women as “sexual predators”, the housing or trans women, particularly those with what is/ or was commonly known as male genitalia, places the most vulnerable women in our society as risk during the only time in their lives that they report as being safe from harm.[viii]
5.         “These groups have a powerful voice in the mainstream media”
Women are being silenced through harassment online and in real life. For example, many female academics are frightened to express their concerns within the academic community for fear of being labelled “anti-trans”, losing their jobs, or worse. [ix] Indeed, a whole new language has been invented to threaten and silence feminists, lesbians and indeed any woman who dares to express genuine concerns about the GRA forums in any public forum. The term TERF (trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) has been routinely used to not only silence women but advocate violence against anyone with a descending view point (for empirical evidence search Twitter for terms like "Punch a TERF", "kill a TERF", "die CIS scum" and the rape threats with "lady dicks").[x]
Is it any wonder women fear that the proposed GRA reforms will leave openings for men who simply want to self-identify to abuse women?
Similar threats simply do not exist for men from these changes.

6.            “These groups have access to significant funding that trans groups do not - Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent on billboards and newspaper adverts opposing trans rights”
Who are these groups? Why are they not named? Where is the evidence of the funding sources?
By contrast, there are established charities and organisations with significant Government backing lobbying for trans-rights at the exclusion of the sex-based rights of women and girls, i.e. Stonewall, Mermaids, National Union of Students
Some organisations and public bodies are already acting ahead of law changes to the Gender Recognition Act (2004), by failing to implement single and separate sex protections covered under the Equality Act 2010 and using the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ interchangeably e.g. The Girl Guides. Again, jettisoning the safe-guarding of the vulnerable, in this case children, particularly girls and young women, in favour of the trans people’s rights.[xi] So where does the power lie?
Comparing feminist opposition groups to far-right ideology is gaslighting and acts as a mechanism to silence these groups of women, which thus prevents open and critical discourse on reforms to the GRA 2004 from other groups – this is not and should not be best practice for higher education institutions.[xii]

Regards,

Dr. Sue Robson, PhD, MA, BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Community Development Practitioner

Dr Louise Harvey-Golding BA (Hons) MA PgCE PgDip PhD
Researcher and evaluator

Notes and references

________________________________

[i] Scottish Trans Alliance https://www.scottishtrans.org/our-work/completed-work/uk-inquiry-into-trans-equality/ , Stonewall https://www.stonewall.org.uk/women-and-equalities-select-committee-inquiry-transgender-equality; Women & Equalities Select Committee Report 2015-2016: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmwomeq/390/39010.htm

[ii] https://transactivist.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/gra-consultation-suggested-starting-point.pdf

[iii] https://transactivist.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/gra-consultation-a-guide-for-feminist-and-lgbt-academics.pdf

[iv] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/17/transgender-law-reform-has-overlooked-womens-rights-say-mps?fbclid=IwAR0pAp5K50JrRqRvM1xPbP5I5hI75cXMitjswhQWfHDbWMZmBrA6FGKGoao
[v]

  *   Anderson, S. (2011). A Way Through the Woods: Opening Pathways to Mental Health Care for Women with Multiple Needs. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 4(2), 63–74. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1757-0972&volume=4&issue=2
  *   Duffy, S., & Hyde, C. (2011). Women at the Centre: Innovation in Community. Retrieved from http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/uploads/attachment/273/women-at-the-centre-summary.pdf
  *   Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). (2012). The impact of changes in commissioning and funding on women-only services | Equality and Human Rights Commission. Retrieved from https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/research-report-86-impact-changes-commissioning-and-funding-women-only-services
  *   Gender Identity Research and Education Society. (2011). The Number of Gender Variant People in the UK-Update 2011. Retrieved from http://www.gires.org.uk
  *   Imkaan, Rape Crisis England & Wales, P. U. (2016). Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: Access to and quality of mental health services. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_MKSoEcCvQwVTV4RS1nWlZBNzg/view
  *   Ministry of Justice. (2017). National Offender Management Service Annual Offender Equalities Report 2016/17. Retrieved from www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly
  *   Ministry of Justice. (2018). Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request – 171117015. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2011/psi-39-2011-womens-cat-
  *   Reeve, K., Casey, R., & Goudie, R. (2006). Still being failed yet striving to survive. Retrieved from http://www4.shu.ac.uk/research/cresr/sites/shu.ac.uk/files/homeless-women-striving-survive.pdf
  *   Trans Respect. (n.d.). Trans Murder Monitoring project: Absolute numbers UK. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from https://transrespect.org/en/map/trans-murder-monitoring/
  *   World Health Organisation. (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Retrieved from www.who.int/about/licensing/copyright_form/en/index.html
[vi] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/11/karen-white-how-manipulative-and-controlling-offender-attacked-again-transgender-prison

[vii] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39337805

[viii] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/24/vulnerable-uk-women-prison-mental-health

[ix] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/16/academics-are-being-harassed-over-their-research-into-transgender-issues

[x] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/29/violent-misogyny-not-confined-to-internet-incels
Also, see The Degenderettes public exhibition and San Francisco Public Library’s “Degenderettes Antifa Art” – which openly advocates violence against women

[xi] https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/girl-guides-trans-inclusion-policy-row-safe-place-sex-abuse-risk-feminism-a8557841.html
[xii] Dr Pearce refers to, Anti-abortion American fundamentalist groups such as ‘Hands Across the Aisle<https://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/.../i-had-no.../>’ and far-right publications such as Breitbart and The Federalist have extensively promoted<https://twitter.com/CaseyExplo.../status/1048237057779404800> the work of ‘feminist’ anti-trans groups and shared crowdfunding pages



The BSA Gender Study Group mailing list is for the exchange of ideas and information related to any aspect of Gender Studies and scholarship. We do not undertake editorial control of postings; viewpoints and information posted to the list do not necessarily represent the views of the convenors or association. We encourage respectful communication on the list and ask that questions related to specific postings be directed to the appropriate party.
University of Huddersfield inspiring tomorrow's professionals.
[http://marketing.hud.ac.uk/_HOSTED/EmailSig2014/EmailSigFooter.jpg]

This transmission is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you receive it in error, please notify us immediately by e-mail and remove it from your system. If the content of this e-mail does not relate to the business of the University of Huddersfield, then we do not endorse it and will accept no liability.

The BSA Gender Study Group mailing list is for the exchange of ideas and information related to any aspect of Gender Studies and scholarship. We do not undertake editorial control of postings; viewpoints and information posted to the list do not necessarily represent the views of the convenors or association. We encourage respectful communication on the list and ask that questions related to specific postings be directed to the appropriate party.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager